Juliana Francis

The Enugu State Police Command has arrested eight alleged cultists for possession of four Pump Actions Rifles.

According to the Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Kanayo Uzuegbu said that the suspects were arrested following the receipt of a complaint of conspiracy, attempt to cause native war, threatening violence, criminal trespassing, and cultism against them.

Uzuegbu said that the suspects were arrested on the 15th of October by a Police team attached to the  Anti-Cultism Squad.

The suspects were identified as David Onyekachukwu, 22, Timothy Ezeali, 22, Somadina Ebe, 22, Nwosa Anele, 22, Kasim Rafiu, 28, and Godwin Udoh, 24, at Ugwuafor in Akpugo community of Nkanu West Local Government Area.

Exhibits recovered from them include four Pump action guns with 11 live cartridges, four motorcycles, one dagger, two Face-caps and T-shirts branded “Enugu Vigilante Group”, and objects suspected to be charms.

The CP said: “A preliminary investigation has shown that the suspects, who claimed to be employers of a private security company, were in unlawful possession of the recovered firearms and ammunition.

“Contrary to their claims, they were not hired and equipped by the leadership of the mentioned community to provide security for them. Furthermore, Timothy, David, and Godwin have all confessed to being members of the Vikings, Black Axe and De-Gbam secret cult groups, respectively, while further discreet investigation is ongoing.”

In a different development, Police Operatives of the Command serving in Awkunanaw Police Division, while acting on credible intelligence, on the 8th of October, at about 11.35 a.m., arrested two male suspects namely: Nzube Eze, 20, and Igwe Nnamdi, 22, both of Upper Meniru, Ikirike Enugu.

“Their arrest led to the recovery of a reported stolen ENTRACO-branded Toyota Hiace bus. Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspects confessed to being members of a vehicle stealing syndicate, stating that they and their cohorts at large, in the early morning hours of 7th of October, scaled the fence into the vehicle’s owner’s compound at One-Day, Awkunanaw Enugu, used raw acid to force the gate’s key open and stole the vehicle from where it was parked,” said the CP.

He further added: “They abandoned the vehicle and escaped after they were intercepted by Vehicle Inspection Officers (V.I.O.) on their way to Okigwe, Imo State to sell it. They were then arrested by the Operatives on returning to Enugu. Further discreet investigations are ongoing. All the suspects will be arraigned in court once investigations are concluded.”

Uzuegbu reaffirmed the resolve of the Police to stamp out unrepentant criminals in Enugu State while ordering the thorough and speedy conclusion of the ongoing investigations and prosecution of the suspects.

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